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Energy Management Tech Briefing: Sprint, Proliphix, SmartLabs, Tendril, Elster, Lutron, Tantalus

Sprint has announced collaborations with Proliphix and SmartLabs aimed at making energy management tools easy for businesses to install.

The Proliphix IMT-550 Internet Managed Thermostat is now available with Sprint wireless network connectivity. This connected thermostat allows small- to medium-sized retail business owners to reduce energy expenses and remotely monitor their storefronts while achieving a positive return on investment in just months, Sprint says.

The thermostat supports three external wired sensors, which can sense temperature or dry contact closures from external equipment. Each of the sensors can provide independent alarms via email or text message when alerts are needed. Proliphix, an energy conservation controls company, says it is the creator of the first IP-enabled intelligent network thermostat.

Sprint also announced that SmartLabs INSTEON will be available in late 2011 with embedded Sprint network connectivity. This plug-n-play system will allow property owners to access and control energy consumption from a Web portal or a Sprint smartphone.

INSTEON can be used to control indoor and outdoor lighting, security systems, heating and cooling (HVAC), appliances, door locks and more while using existing wired infrastructure. Pilot testing is under way at a Sprint retail store where energy savings exceeds 28 percent, the telecoms company said.

Lighting control manufacturer Lutron Electronics has expanded its line of temperature controls with the addition of a co-branded Honeywell touchscreen thermostat called TouchPRO (pictured). The thermostat communicates with Lutron systems that also control lights, shades and stand-by power from small appliances. The TouchPRO thermostat can be ordered starting September 12, with a suggested list price of $450.

Tendril and Elster have entered into a formal integration and reseller agreement to integrate the Tendril Connect cloud platform with Elster’s EnergyAxis smart grid system. The agreement is designed to provide a broadened advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) offering for efficient home energy management and demand response. The companies also signed a formal licensing agreement to jointly market Tendril energy management solutions, including Tendril Energize.

Tendril said it now works with all of the top AMI communications suppliers. Tendril’s partnerships include co-selling and reselling agreements, which it has with Landis + Gyr, Elster, Itron and Sensus, as well as meter and platform integration agreements, which it has with Landis + Gyr, Elster, Itron, Sensus and Silver Spring Networks.

Finally, Tantalus, a smart grid communications provider, has announced the release of an enhanced functionality module for the GE Kv2c and Kv2c(+) polyphase meters for utilities’ commercial and industrial customers. This release from Tantalus addresses four critical C&I areas, the company said:

  • New, more extensive reporting for critical energy data including: cumulative kWh, kVAh and kVARh, instantaneous voltage and current by phase, and combined line frequency and power factor. All, or configurable subsets, of these values can be delivered on a utility-defined interval from five minutes to two hours, or requested on-demand.
  • More extensive reporting for current and prior period peak data including peak kW with coincident kVA and kVAR, peak kVA with coincident kW and kVAR, and peak kVAR with coincident kW and kVA all with optional timestamps.
  • A more feature-rich demand reset functionality providing both scheduled and unscheduled demand reset capabilities. Scheduled resets can occur on a cyclical basis, daily, weekly or monthly, or on an ad-hoc basis using a utility defined calendar.
  • An increased level of power quality monitoring, which provides more granular voltage and outage information.
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